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Aakash-2 is not 'Made-in-China' product: DataWind

Posted: 26 Nov 2012     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:China  Aakash 2  circuit-boards  capacitive touch 

In response to The Hindustan Times' article saying world's cheapest tablet PC Aakash-2 was made in China, Datawind said the article was "inaccurate and misleading." Datawind, the maker of Aakash, said the company manufactured the motherboard and kits of the first 10,000 units of Aakash-2 in its Chinese subcontractor's facilities.

"For the first 10k units for IIT, and for expediency sake we had the motherboards and kits manufactured in our Chinese subcontractor's facilities, and then the units have been 'kitted' in China at various manufacturers for expediency, whereas the final assembly and programming has happened in India," clarifies Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO of DataWind.

"This was well discussed and we got approval prior to shipping."

The initial devices were assembled and programmed at our facilities in New Delhi and Amritsar.

"We finished this batch of 10k units and delivered them to IIT and will be starting another batch of 20k units for them in two weeks."

The article appeared in HT claimed DataWind may have procured Aakash-2 devices off-the-shelf from manufacturers in China for $42 (Rs 2,263), exactly at the price the company sold these to the Indian government.

"We also have four partner manufacturers across India that will work on the deliveries to the government but we just couldn't get them started to assemble our new Aakash-2 units in time but they will start to ship early in December."

The advanced version of Aakash was launched on November 11 by the President Pranab Mukherjee.

DataWind said both versions of Aakash were built in India including all the circuit-boards in Hyderabad. The primary difference between Aakash I and 2 is the capacitive touch screen. "This is the most expensive and important element and this product is manufactured in our Montreal facility. This is one of the primary reasons why our devices are lower cost than others, as we use a proprietary technology."

The company is setting up its second touch screen facility in India, which is going through pilot right now. The full clean room facility will be up and running in another month.

"We have been strong proponents of developing a manufacturing base in India, and our actions continue to reflect this," Tuli added.

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